Why antibiotics won't fix your ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail is an underrated pain. The redness. The swelling. The discomfort. The throbbing.

Whether you stubbed your toe at a wedding party, clipped your nails back too short, or have been wearing a shoe size too small - there are many reasons for why an ingrown toenail can develop. 

The condition is relatively common and is typically simply treated, although if left unseen to, can become problematic. These days, antibiotics are frequently prescribed to help clear up the infection, but more often than not, they only disguise a bigger problem. 

Here at The Merivale Podiatry Clinic, we witness a number of clients with ingrown toenails where antibiotics haven't helped to heal the infection. Some have been having problems for months, if not years, as the root to the problem was not dealt with from the get go. The antibiotics have helped to clear the wound and make the nail temporarily feel better, but haven't helped to effectively resolve the issue. In these cases, the ingrown toenail is then likely to resurface, and can increase the likelihood of implications further down the track.

The reality is that antibiotics are actually rarely required. Not only can they prolong the healing of the infection, but with regular use, the bacteria in our bodies can become resistant to the antibiotics. We have treated patients who have had two or even three courses of antibiotics and the problem is still there. Stopping your problem nails from ingrowing in the first place is the best action to take.

Our team of highly experienced podiatrists are experts in treating your problem ingrown nails. We are home to The Ingrown Toenail Clinic, the only clinic in Christchurch dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of ingrown toenails.

Depending on severity of the infection, we offer surgical and non-surgical treatments. A mild, localised infection can simply be healed with the removal of the offending nail spike, a relatively easy procedure  with minimal amount of pain. In more chronic cases, or if problems persist, a minor nail surgery may be required. Research shows this to be the most effective treatment for ingrown toenails, reducing the risk of a recurring ingrown toenail significantly. It's a safe and simple procedure which can be performed within our clinic.

Ingrown toenails are frankly a pain. They are uncomfortable, can be embarrassing, and get in the way of our day to day lives. If you have an ingrown toenail, let us help you get back on your feet and come see our specialist here at The Merivale Podiatry Clinic.